How Can I Non-Awkwardly Introduce Myself to My New Neighbors?

published Jan 28, 2016
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Q: I’m about to move into a new apartment building and I wanted to know whether leaving letters for my new neighbors would be a nice gesture or come off as weird/forward. In the past I’ve always fully intended to do a nice introduction with my neighbors, including giving them my contact info, but the first few times we’d bump into each other they or I would be hurrying off to something and we’d only really exchange names. After a few weeks of this it felt too late to do anything else…

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Would it be appropriate to write a short letter introducing myself and leave it for my neighbors (the apartment next to mine, and possibly also those above and below)? I’d just say my name, mention that they should introduce themselves if they see me, and include my phone number with a note that they can feel free to text me if ever I have music too loud or anything of the like. It sounds like a good idea to me, but I don’t really know anyone else who does it, and I was an RA in university for many years so I definitely have some ingrained habits to “build community” which other people sometimes find over-the-top.

What do you think? Is a letter alright? What should it include and who should get it? -Sent by Vcstr

Editor: What a great idea! I was so impressed that my partner and his neighbors had all exchanged numbers—and truly looked out for one another—and wished I’d done something similar over the years. (Perhaps it’s a house vs. apartment thing? In a house, I think you tend to see your neighbors more—shoveling their drive, sitting on the porch, mowing the lawn—while I often went a year without actually seeing the people in the apartment next to mine…) Anyway, I love this concept. Readers, do you have any advice for Vcstr regarding how to pull off this neighborly gesture with aplomb? What would you prefer if you were one of the neighbors in question?

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